ERIC Number: ED235885
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Aug-9
Reference Count: N/A
Are American Schools Working? Disturbing Cost and Quality Trends. Policy Analysis No. 26.
West, Edwin G.
The National Commission on Excellence in Education has concluded that the quality of education in public schools in America is declining. Other reports have indicated that serious basic skill deficiencies have been identified among secondary school graduates and nongraduates entering the work force. Total annual public educational expenditures rose by 8 percent from l971 to l981, although enrollment and achievement (the latter measured by scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test) declined. The average current expenditure per pupil is twice as high in public schools as in private schools. Several issues have been studied to determine their correlation with student achievement--for example, different types of schools and classrooms, teacher characteristics, salary differentials and merit pay, class size, physical resources, instructional strategies, and the use of time in schools. Public opinion has also reflected several issues of concern: obtaining proper financial support, drug usage, poor curricula, difficulty getting good teachers, teachers' lack of interest, integration/busing, discipline, violence, and vandalism. The l982 Coleman study has suggested that private schools have a more efficient performance record than public schools. Specific proposals for reform by the Commission include increasing the school year, requiring more math and science classes, encouraging competition between public and private schools, and deregulating public and private education from state control. (BJD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Comparative Analysis, Educational Change, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Expenditure per Student, Private Schools, Public Education, Public Schools
Policy Analysis, Cato Institute, 224 Second Street S.E., Washington, DC 20003 ($2.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cato Inst., Washington, DC.